Joedel O. Penaranda, a native Biliranon from Brgy. Langgao, Cabucgayan was chosen as a Philippine representative and one of the 300 accepted applicants around the world to the 2017 Harvard Project for Asian & International Relations (HPAIR) Harvard this February at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
HPAIR is an internationally-recognized student-run organization at Harvard College, offering a forum of exchange to facilitate discussion of the most important economic, political, and social issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific region. Past speakers at the conferences include former President of the Republic of Korea and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kim Dae-Jung, Governor General of Australia Peter Hollingworth, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, President of Singapore S.R. Nathan, former United States Ambassador to Japan John Thomas Schieffer, and former President of Goldman Sachs Philip Murphy.
“I am deeply blessed that I was chosen to co-represent my country to the said conference. The word ‘Harvard’ was just a feast of topic whenever we joke around of where to go or study but now, I am going there. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Penaranda expressed.
Over the years, HPAIR’s international conferences have emerged as one of Harvard College’s largest student-run annual events in the Asia-Pacific region, welcoming a wide variety of distinguished speakers and future leaders. HPAIR believes that finding common ground in Asian-Pacific issues is a dynamic and innovative process, which integrates ideas and actions from across Asia, and indeed, the whole world.
“It is only through the active participation of highly qualified delegates like you that this understanding and process can be realized,” the acceptance letter of Mr. Penaranda stressed.
“I must say that the screening process was bloody. I was required to submit numerous comprehensive essays and was interviewed twice online. I can’t help but sweat and pray especially when the questions thrown at me are tricky,”
he disclosed when asked about the admission process.
Penaranda is currently an Instructor at Naval State University-Main, College of Education and currently pursuing his post-graduate studies at the University of San Carlos- Cebu with the program Master of Arts in Education major in English Language Teaching as a grantee of the Commission on Higher Education- Graduate Education Scholarships for Faculty and Staff in the K to 12 Transition Period.
It can also be noted that Mr. Penaranda, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in Bachelor of Secondary Education-English, represented the province numerous times to different events such as being the National Champion of 4-H Extemporaneous Speaking Contest 2015 the Tagbilaran City Bohol, Official Candidate of Naval State University to the 2015 Search for Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines, being the 3-time Grand Champion and Best Debater of the Eastern Visayas Debate Championship and the Provincial Convenor for the 10th National Youth
Parliament of Youth Leaders of the National Youth Commission.
*Mr. Penaranda is currently raising funds for support of his travel expenses to the US. For donations, please contact him at 09173260472 or e-mail him at
. You can also follow this link https://gogetfunding.com/send-joedel-to-harvard-this-february/ for more details about his fundraising efforts.